There were 68 or so anglers booked in for this match so we were spread over Match, Island and meadow, with my substantial breakfast dispatched and a £1 wager made with Chas it was time for the match brief and the draw. It was whilst waiting that I was informed that Chas had pulled peg 1 on Match out of the bag so I needed a good peg to compete with him, 19 on Meadow was not it……
To give myself the best chance I set up a pellet rig for across, paste rig for down the track at 2+2, a margin rig to fish meat left and right and finally a tip rod to ping a pellet feeder around with. At the all-in I fed my track and edge lines before shipping out with my pellet rig, it consisted of a 10-11 MW F1 Pear on 0.16-0.10 and a 16 T808. I was using a mix of 2mm pellet and F1 Dark groundbait in the toss pot and I was caught by surprise when the float buried first put in, I lost that one but 5 minutes later my Pink reflex elastic was getting well stretched by a small carp. That one in the net I had to wait for a little while for my next bite and it was a very good carp, unfortunately I will never know how big as the hook pulled after about 5 minutes and I was left cursing. So to prevent any more losses I upped the hooklength to 0.12 and the elastic to yellow Reflex, and didn’t get another bite over that line for the next 45 minutes, so I had a look on the paste line early.
My rig for the paste line was a 0.2g Dino Paste float on 0.20-0.18mm line and a T175 in size 5, elastic was green Reflex as usual. I started to get indications almost straight away and managed a small F1 but it was nowhere quick enough and with most people around me catching small carp I needed to do something to get a few in the net. I tried the pellet feeder, edge, paste and across both on the deck and shallow over the next 2 hours with only another 3 small F1’s on the paste line to show for my efforts. I was on the brink of packing up when I thought that I would have a quick look again down on my right hand margin, I had been feeding it religiously all day with 6mm meat and hemp so it would have to give me something.
I toss potted in a pinch of hemp and 8 bits of meat before slowly lowering my rig in on top of the feed, 20 seconds later a liner that moved the float so I lifted it back into position, dropped it down and it dinked under. It didn’t take long to get the 6lber into the net as I was again on green Reflex to 0.20 mainline, 0.18mm bottom and a size 3 T175. I shipped back down the edge and lowered my float back in again with a toss pot full of grub and another carp quickly slipped up and so started a manic hour and a quarter that saw me putting carp upto about 13lb into the net almost one a bang. Mick the edge to my right couldn’t understand it as I plundered the fish from between us but I think that it was where I had over 3ft of depth tight to the reeds that was allowing the fish to regroup quickly. I was just starting to enjoy myself when the fish left me with 30 minutes to go and I struggled for another carp from that line before the all out. I knew that I had done well but what the scale revealed blew me away, I was the last person in my section to get weighed and 31kg was winning when it got to me. I was confident that I had over 30kg and I was proved right when my first net went 25kg and there was about 20kg in the other one for 45KG and a handful of grams. This even beat the other section on Meadow that should have been the better one so I was looking good for getting my quid off Chas.
Overall I was relegated to second as Colin W managed 48kg from Match, so well done Colin, I am still rueing those two lost fish at the start of the match. All I need to do now is catch up with Chas for my quid, anyway after this photo it was time for a quick meeting, prize giving and then the 3 hour drive home so that I can fish the final round of the Withy Tof4 tomorrow, here’s to hoping for another good day.